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tacos al pastor with grilled pineapple slices and green salsa on a serving platter.
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5 from 5 votes

Tacos Al Pastor

Easy, homemade Tacos Al Pastor perfect for your weeknight dinners, special occasions, get togethers or game day parties. Made with pork shoulder marinated in the most delicious restaurant-style, flavorful marinade that's earthy, citrusy and slightly spicy! The meat is perfect for tacos, burritos, quesadillas, enchiladas and more.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Marinating Time4 hrs
Total Time4 hrs 50 mins
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: al pastor, tacos al pastor
Servings: 8
Calories: 315kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 pound pork shoulder boneless
  • 3 guajillo chiles dried
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • 1 medium onion roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons Mexican oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 ounces achiote paste
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper

To Serve

  • tortillas
  • 1 pineapple cleaned, cut into slices and grilled
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro chopped
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 2 limes cut into wedges

Instructions

  • Prepare the pork. Using a sharp knife, cut the pork into thin ¼ inch slices. Place the pork slices in a large bowl.
  • Prep the peppers. Add the guajillo chiles to a pot with boiling water. Cover with lid and let them soak for about 5 minutes until they begin to soften. Transfer the chiles to a cutting board and carefully remove the seeds and stems. Set aside. I recommend using gloves.
  • Make the marinade. To a blender add the guajillo chile, orange juice, lime juice, onion, cinnamon, pepper, Mexican oregano, cumin and salt. Blend everything together until it forms a smooth paste. If the paste is too thick, add a bit of the hot water that you used to soak the chiles and blend it in until combined.
  • Marinate the meat. Pour the marinade over the pork and mix everything thoroughly together. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours to overnight. Remove the meat from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking.
  • Grill option. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat and lightly grease it. Grill the meat for about 7 to 8 minutes per side or until slightly charred. An instant-read meat thermometer inserted into the center of the largest piece should read at least 145°F. Transfer the pork to a platter or baking sheet and grill the pineapple slices on both sides until slightly charred about 5 minutes per side.
  • Oven option. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a baking pan that is narrower than your skewers with aluminum foil. You want to be able to prop your skewers on the baking sheet while cooking. A 9x13 inch pan usually works great if you're using 12-inch skewers.
  • Roast the meat in the oven. Drizzle the top of the meat with some olive oil. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for about 30 minutes or until the surface of the meat browns and you can see some charred bits. Might need to turn the broiler on for more charred bits. During the cooking process baste the meat with juices from pan.
  • Cut the meat. Let the cooked meat rest for 5 minutes before cutting it up into bite size pieces.
  • Assemble the tacos and serve. Serve on tacos with grilled pineapple, fresh cilantro, red onion, salsa, and lime wedges.

Video

Notes

  1. Nutritional information does not include tortillas and toppings.
  2. Traditionally, Al Pastor is made with pork shoulder but you can use other cuts of meat such as pork sirloin or pork belly.
  3. When working with chiles, I recommend using disposable gloves. Also, if you don't have any gloves, just make sure you don't rub your eyes, it's not pleasant. Wash your hands immediately after handling the chiles.
  4. If you can't find the dried guajillo chiles or ancho powder/paste, feel free to use an adobo chili paste.
  5. If you don't have an indoor grill and don't want to roast the meat in the oven, you can always use a grill pan. Just make sure to line the pork in a single layer and don't crowd it. It will probably take a bit longer to cook all the meat, but totally worth all the effort.
  6. I recommend storing leftover grilled/roasted meat in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. I don’t recommend refrigerating already assembled tacos because they’re going to get soggy.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 315kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 52g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 136mg | Sodium: 417mg | Potassium: 973mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 430IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 3mg